Inquiries regarding candidates changing their names; Government considering legal amendment
The Registrar General’s Department has initiated special investigations into the premeditated changing of names by two election candidates intending to obtain top preferential numbers on the voting card.
Senior Deputy Registrar General T.M. Premasiri told our news team that he received information about two candidates contesting for the Gampaha and the Colombo districts who had changed names in their birth certificates intentionally to gain top numbers on the voting card.
The two candidates who allegedly altered their birth certificates are UNP Colombo district contestant Shivanka Wijegunawardana and UPFA Gampaha district contestant Kuruppu Arachchige Kamal Nayanakantha Kurupppu.
The CAFFE organization stated that both candidates have prefixed the first and second letters of the Sinhala alphabet to their names in order to be printed on top of the voting card.
CAFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon stated that his organization complained with regard to this name change to the Election Commissioner and the Registrar General today.
However Senior Deputy Registrar General T.M. Premasiri stated that inquiries will be made from the relevant Divisional Secretariats to which the two candidates belong.
At the same time, our news team contacted Registrar General E.M. Gunasekera to comment on whether any prefixed letter or letters to a candidate’s name is accepted.
In response he stated that confirmation needs to be obtained regarding the identity of a person who is changing his or her name and that the new name he or she uses need to be used in documents that is accepted and recognized in society.